This Wednesday night, March 7, marks the beginning of the Jewish festival of Purim, commemorating the events of the biblical Book of Esther in ancient Persia (now Iran). The wicked Persian premier, Haman, plotted to wipe out all the Jews (sound familiar?) but was ultimately thwarted. Purim falls into the “they tried to kill us, we won, let’s eat!” category of Jewish festivals and holidays.
As part of the celebration, Jews traditionally bake three-sided fruit or poppy-seed filled turn-over cookies called ‘hamantashen’ (also spelled ‘hamantaschen). Their triangle shape is because it is believed that a tri-cornered hat was worn by the wicked Haman (i.e. the ‘Haman’ in ‘hamantashen’).
In the spirit of the festival, I offer you Chabad‘s ‘Quick & Easy Hamantashen’ recipe. Enjoy!
1 (18.25 ounce) package moist yellow cake mix
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons water
1 cup fruit jam (any flavour) or 1 cup prepared poppy-seed filling or 1 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease cookie sheets.
- In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix and flour. Stir in the eggs and water to form a stiff dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/8 inch thickness.
- Cut into 3 inch round circles and place 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets. Place a teaspoon of filling into the centre of each cookie and pinch the sides tightly to form three corners so that only a little filling is visible. Moisten with water, if necessary.
- Bake hamantashen for 6 to 8 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly browned.
- Allow cookies to cook for 1 minute on the cookie sheets before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
Recipe yields 2 dozen hamantashen.